Just in time for the holidays, online sellers gain access to a new product sourcing marketplace. Counterfeits remain a problem, Amazon targets college campuses, and FedEx raises its fuel surcharge fee despite falling costs of fuel. Here’s a roundup of recent news impacting merchants.
New Product-Sourcing Marketplace
Optoro, a platform for returned and excess inventory, launched a new B2B wholesale marketplace called BULQ.com. BULQ offers resellers and recyclers an easy and reliable way to source discount inventory and parts, including overstock, returned, refurbished and excess inventory, directly from retailers – in bulk.
Optoro cofounder and President Adam Vitarello said BULQ.com’s revolutionary new approach captures greater value by providing small-to-medium resellers easy access to inventory previously only available to the largest liquidators.
Counterfeiting Remains a Problem
The American Apparel & Footwear Association came out against the problem of counterfeiting, and called for the US government to do more. President and CEO of AAFA Juanita Duggan said, “The size and scope of the counterfeit problem for our industry is why we’ve taken such a stand on this issue, and why we will continue to assert pressure on marketplaces that sell, encourage, or advertise fakes.”
AAFA called out Alibaba’s TaoBao and several other marketplaces, both online and physical markets, including in China, Mexico, Uruguay, Thailand, Ukraine, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, India, and Vietnam.
Amazon Targets College Students
Amazon is opening more pickup centers at college campuses. The customer service outlets allow college students to pick up their orders. “The program, Campus Pick-up Point, premiered in February as a convenience for students who live in dorms or apartments, where receiving packages can be difficult. It also increases Amazon’s visibility among an important demographic that often shops online for textbooks and their necessities.”
Fortune says the expansion is part a broader push by Amazon into the college market, noting it has also partnered with a handful of universities to open co-branded bookstore websites for selling textbooks.
FedEx and UPS Raise Fuel Surcharge Rates
Despite falling fuel costs, FedEx raised the amount it charges shippers for its fuel surcharge fee. The Wall Street Journal said the move has jolted ecommerce companies. “The increase, which takes effect Nov. 2, would add about $170 to the bill for shipping 100 shoeboxes overnight from New York to Atlanta, up from the $67 added by the current surcharge.”
It noted that the price of diesel fuel, which FedEx uses in its trucks, has plunged by about a third over the past year.
Source: Wall Street Journal